Fathers set relationship standards for daughters

dadI wish every little girl had a father like mine. My father passed away when I was 20 years old, but I am so fortunate to have so many fond memories of him. It hurts me when my friends have no memories of their fathers. I remember my father’s tall stature, his belly laugh, his soft, curly hair and even his scent.

Fathers are special in a young woman’s life because they set the precedence for her expectation on how she should be treated by men. I knew that when I got married, my husband would have big shoes to fill! He had to be honest, dedicated, hard-working and family-oriented. He had to love me unconditionally, yet not be afraid to tell me when I was wrong. He had to scold out of love, not disrespect.

My parents worked in the healthcare profession. My mom worked 3 p.m.-11 p.m. and my father worked 7 a.m.-3 p.m. My father was the one that was there for me after school. We were very close and I must admit, that I was spoiled. I had everything that I ever asked for and woke up on holidays to a room full of candy, toys and new clothes.

It saddens me that the role of fathers has been minimized in today’s society. It’s easy to point fingers and blame, but at the end of the day in an ideal world, the man responsible for creating the child should be the man responsible for the overall care and welfare of that child.

Men should set the standard in their daughters’ lives so that young women will know the love of a man does not equate to sex, adoration or material things. A young woman who has a good father will respect herself and will not allow any man to hurt, abuse or neglect her once she has known what a real man is capable of. A young woman with an abusive father or absent father will accept that behavior from future men in her life, usually over and over again.

While Father’s Day is a sad time for me, I have to truly hold on to the memories of my father that my heart treasures. I also hold on to hope that there will be future generations of men who choose to parent and love their children as God intended them to. A special salute to the fathers that stayed, that prayed, and that stepped up to the plate—whether they were the biological father or not.

Crystal Brown-Tatum for Hope Magazine